I may sound like a grumpy grouch, but truth be told, while many love this time of the year, I find it destabilizing. All the activity, along with Duane Reade’s unnecessarily early displays, emphasizes how the end of the year is looming upon us. Basically, once Halloween ends, the deluge of Christmas/Holidays decorations, songs and general vibration is overstimulating to my senses and triggers all kinds of stressful thoughts. Like? Allow me to share:
- The true meaning of any holiday seems to be lost on us and is replaced by violent over-consumption.
- Nobody really knows how these holidays came to be and that’s annoying.
- Can we enjoy the introspective quiet that accompanies the Fall and Winter? No, because of increased crowds and obnoxious ecologically-unsound light displays.
This sense of speed and frenetic excitement can be fun. For those of us that don’t enjoy it, the importance of a centering practice or ritual cannot be overestimated. Here are a few I enjoy:
- Essential Oils on Demand – keep a few scents on hand, so that in the middle of your day or a crowd you can take one out that you find soothing. Get time to slow down by breathing in the scent and taking a moment of stillness.
- Embrace the darkness – light a candle and use it’s light to illuminate dinners, meditation, or television binging. They add warmth and low-key cheer to any environment. My favorite candles are beeswax, which give off a beautiful light and are non-toxic.
- Tea, bitches – Yes, you can make a ritual out of making yourself a lovely cup of tea. I find Lemon Balm calming in the evening. A great choice for anyone dealing with depression or S.A.D. I prefer loose leaf, so I can really take my time and focus on the preparation again creating a time out from the surrounding chaos.
- Abhangya – This one comes from Ayurveda. It’s a massage you give yourself using sesame oil. The purpose is to ground and protect yourself. You can totally think that’s a load of crap, but still just enjoy the moment of self-care. Pick an oil you like and pamper yourself a little. I do practice with the Ayurvedic intent and start the morning by rubbing on the sesame oil and then taking a quick shower, so that I feel warmed and moisturized.
You need something to get your through 5am when you aren’t a morning person!
5. Enjoy quiet activities – Time to de-stimulate, so no, playing with your phone doesn’t count. Read a book, magazine, graphic novel or craft something. Basically, give yourself a break from electronics. It won’t kill you. I swear.
Good luck and let me know if any of this helps.